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jzermeno

Which star is closest to the Earth?

jzermeno

jzermeno said...

The sun, an average star, is the closest star to the earth. It is only 93 million miles away from us and that is why it looks so big compared to all of those stars we can see in the night sky. It takes a photon of light, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, about 8.5 minutes to reach earth from the sun. So we say that the sun is 8.5 light minutes away. The next closest star to the earth is known as Alpha, or Proxima, Centauri. It is called Alpha because it is the brightest in the southern constellation Centaurus and Proxima because it is so close to us. It takes a photon of light 4.4 years to reach earth after leaving the surface of Proxima. 4.4 light years translates into about 25.8 trillion miles. Most of the stars that we can see at night are much, much further away than that. One of the furthest away stars that we can see with the naked eye is about 16,308 light years away!

jzermeno

jzermeno said...

Here is a good link for more info on Proxima. APOD is a great website because it offers many links to more information on its picture subjects, enjoy!

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap051204.html

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